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Dealing with Brownouts – EAM

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Well, anybody who has spent any time in the Philippines would know that brownouts, or as we would call them, Blackouts, can be a big problem in many parts of the Philippines.  Living without electricity is not very fun though.

How do you deal with it?

Need a Generator?

Need a Generator?

Well, today I got a question from Tommy, who has plans to move to General Santos City, and brownouts are on his mind.  Tommy does his work on the Internet, so it is important for him to have electricity so that he can be online and earn his money.  Since I earn money the same way that Tommy does, I feel that I have some good tips that might be helpful to Tommy, and I share them in today’s podcast.

So, tune in to The Expat Answer Man, Episode 0004 today on LiP!

So, give the Podcast a listen and see what  you think.  I hope you enjoy the show, and will listen in each and every week.

Do You Have a Question?

If you want to send a question for inclusion in a future Podcast, just use the app below, click on the button below, where it says “Start Recording”.

Questions submitted by eMail will no longer be answered, you must submit through the voice message above.

Thanks again for listening, everybody!

Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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Bob Martin
Guest

Hi Tommy, your brownout question is answered, today on LiP! Hope you are doing well.

John Reyes
Guest

Hi Bob – I would hate to be the first to comment when my comment is not even related to the topic of your podcast. You did, however, answer a question that is foremost in my mind, and that is the distance from GenSan to Davao by bus or car. You said it’s 3 hours. Not bad. As you may know, my wife and I will be visiting Mindanao this December and we will be staying at Sarangani Highlands for a week as part of our 3-week vacation in the Philippines. I thought it would be worthwhile to take a… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi John – Your comment is still on topic, given that I did mention the length of travel from GenSan to Davao! 🙂 I did kind of just mention that in an off the cuff way, and wasn’t that specific. I have driven the route between GenSan and Davao in as little as 2 hours, at a time when traffic was nearly non-existent. That is the shortest amount of time I think the trip can be done in, as I was driving at a pretty fast rate of speed. 😉 On the other extreme, if you take a bus that… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Member

Bob;
A generator on wheels? That’s living on the edge.

Heinz Schirmaier
Guest
Heinz Schirmaier

Generator on WHEELS? LOL! Called being prepared never know when you’ll have to hitch it to the back of your car and move it to HIGHER Grounds, lol!

MindanaoBob
Guest

As the boy scouts say, Heinz – Be Prepared!

MindanaoBob
Guest

Come on now, Paul! Think about it. If your generator was on wheels, they could have towed it behind the tricycle instead of cramming it onto the seat! Now, that is the professional way to do it! 🙂

Paul Thompson
Member

Or roll it out of my yard instead of unbolting it from it’s platform. You guys can keep the wheels, I’ll keep my generator.

MindanaoBob
Guest

Ha ha… I hear you, Paul! You gotta do what works best for you! 🙂

Bob New York
Guest
Bob New York

If ” Chromebook ” is available there it might be useful for some people during brownouts. It’s not quite a full laptop but you can get nearly 8 hours use from it on a full battery charge. I recently bought a so called ” refurbished ” Samsumg Chromebook from a popular online company for $179 USD. Brand new ones of the model I have are gong for $249.95 USD. I didn’t want to spend the full amount for brand new because I just wanted to see what Chromebook was all about. It is 100% solid state. No hard drive (… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Bob – I have been looking at the Chromebook myself, but decided against it, as I have a few needs for things that it can’t do.

I didn’t realize that it has no fan. The battery life is impressive, but I would worry that the intense heat here, especially during brownouts, having no fan might be a problem.

Bob New York
Guest
Bob New York

The only openings on it are two very small openings for the speakers. If they are being marketed there in PH I would guess they would probably work in the heat with the exception maybe of constant use in direct sunlight. There are many forums etc. dedicated to the Chromebook. They are being made in various sizes by several manufacturers. I think the built in memory is 16 gig. So far, for what I use it for I kind of like it. It has one each, USB 2 and USB 3 connections. Not sure if it will work with my… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

I do not believe that the Chromebook is available in the Philippines. The people here that I know who have one have purchased it in the States and either brought it home with them or had it shipped here.

Bob New York
Guest
Bob New York

Happy 4th of July Independence day to those of us stateside, and for that matter, expats too.

MindanaoBob
Guest

Thank you, Bob, and the same to you! I was going to mention 4th of July on the podcast, but I decided not to for a couple of reasons:

1. Not all listeners are Americans.
2. Main reason – people could be listening to the episode at any time in the future, so it is kind of “date independent” and mentioning the holiday may seem strange if they are listening, for example, in February.

Eric
Guest
Eric

Bob, Here’s how I handle brownouts It may be helpful for your audience. … I bought a 1000 watt (small) generator. Rather than hardwiring it into the house’s breaker box, I put a power point on the exterior wall and another on the interior wall. These power points are only connected to each other and are independent of the house wiring. The sole reason for this is to to allow the power from the generator to get inside the house without running an extension cord through a window or door. (Helpful when the typhoons come and you need power, but… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Thanks for sharing your solution, Eric, it gives another option for those who have a need.

Don
Guest
Don

One thing to consider about gas generators. Dont just put gas in it or leave it in a 5 gallon container for months on end. Most gas here as ethanol, and ethanol wont hold up over time. Put fuel stabilizer in it or better yet, every month, pour it into your car’s tank and get fresh gas. Otherwise, the gas will go bad when you most need it.

MindanaoBob
Guest

That is good info, Don. I was unaware of that, and it’s good to know. Of course, being in GenSan, you would probably never make it a month without using up your fuel in the generator! 🙂

Don
Guest
Don

Shell, Caltex and Petron (except Blaze 100) all have 10% ethanol. Not sure why but its mostly imported as only Shell has a refinery in the Philippines, at least in Luzon.

MindanaoBob
Guest

That is good to know, Don.

Paul Thompson
Member

Bob; Normally a gas generator will give 1000 watt per each horsepower it is, mine is 5 HP so 5000 watts and will run my house as if the power is still on Don stated that the gas will go bad over time and he is 100% correct, aside the danger of storing that much fuel. Using it in the car is a great idea and allows you to rotate it every month or two. Mine is hardwired into the house from my Mancave in the back yard so noise is not a problem; also I have an alarm to… Read more »

MindanaoBob
Guest

Hi Paul – That is all great information, and thank you also for confirming Don’s earlier comment about the fuel going bad.

It sounds like you have a great system worked out to keep your power going, and I’m glad that it is all back and working now. Did you have any lengthy brownouts while your generator was out for service?

Paul Thompson
Member

Bob;
Last Sunday (While the machine was gone) the power went off in the morning, we normally go to town for breakfast after church anyway, and by the afternoon when we got home it was on.
During a brownout there is one option that was omitted, one can sit in the dark and watch your ref’s and freezers defrost. Me? I’ll pay the cost of a generator.

MindanaoBob
Guest

Whatever we choose to get through brownouts is a good thing if it works. Having a plan is important.

Tim
Guest
Tim

Hey Bob! Everybody seems to be relying on gas. What about Solar? Is that not feasible in Phils?

MindanaoBob
Guest

My experience is, Tim, that there are a lot of people who are very enthusiastic about solar…. before they are living here. The people who are living here have come to realize, though, that at this time it is not feasible. Prices for solar (and other forms of green energy) are way too high at this point to make it justifiable. Some day it will be great, but not yet. I have a good friend who used to be a strong advocate for doing solar in the Philippines. Before he moved here, he was constantly telling me of his elaborate… Read more »

randy
Guest

Generator is too much expensive.. Do you have any suggestion than generator?

MindanaoBob
Guest

A big part of it, Randy, would be depending on where you live. If you can, choose to live in a place where there are few brownouts. For example, here in Davao, we usually have maybe only 30 to 60 minutes of brownout in an entire year. This year has been different, but it seems back to normal now. In a case like this, you really don’t need a generator.

There is something like solar power, but that is more expensive than a generator.

Tommy Seilheimer
Guest

Bob, thank you so much for that Podcast! Brother this was soo helpful! Now you have me thinking Davao for a move possibly. This was REALLY helpful. 3 hours or so away from Gensan might work for us. Jacky said to say hi to you and Feyma!

Oh I really enjoyed the podcast with you interviewing Feyma. That was very informative and funny (loved the back and forth with you too). You are a walking wikipedia for guys like me.

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